School holiday can be one of the most difficult times especially for working parents. This is because it is often hard and even expensive balancing work with childcare during this season.
Even if you are home, keeping children entertained still can be tough, especially during december global holidays when the weather is sometime bad and going out is more of a challenge.
But get it right, and school holidays can be one of the loveliest times that everyone in your family will be looking forward to.
It is true, that holiday seasons are meant to be a time for the family, rest, relaxation and celebrations.
But this does not mean learning should stop because school gates are closed. When than right, you can still instill in your children the love for learning at the same time keep them engage during this period and the good news is that they won’t even know that they’re learning.
Please find below some unique holiday activities that can keep you and your family engaged during this season:
- Create Reading Routine
Regular routines go out the window when school stops…
But you can still keep a sense of routine, and important daily rituals, all through the holidays.
Reading is one of the best forms of learning for all kids (and that includes reading to them)
With reading, young kids can develop language skills, improve literacy, and put their imagination to good use.
While for older kids, fiction books can further support their writing skills, and through non-fiction they can learn about topics that interest them that they may or may not study in the school environment.
Reading can also aid relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety, increase empathy, and promote good sleeping habits.
A recent study found that children who had access to books at home had significantly better reading skills than those who didn’t.
So consider giving your kids books for Christmas!
They really are the gift that keeps on giving.
- Set as Music Challenge
Challenge kids to rewrite the lyrics to some of their favorite songs or create a funny rap about their favorite TV show. Or ask them to put on their “advertising hats” and create a 30-second jingle to market their favorite toy, book, snack, or hobby.
- Discuss Current Events
Dialogue, as evidenced in recent study, is a powerful and often-overlooked opportunity for teaching and learning.
Discuss timely, relevant events from the media (or otherwise) with your children.
Of course, your discussions should be age appropriate.
But you will find that there are appropriate news-worthy topics to discuss with young children and older teenagers.
By encouraging them to be aware of issues in the world, to analyse and engage with them, and to consider events from various angles.
You’re helping to develop their critical thinking skills, to problem solve, and become responsible, engaged and empathetic.
And who knows, you might learn something from them too!
- Teach With Movies!
After watching a movie together, go beyond “Did you like the movie?” and talk about the movie’s themes, such as respect, friendship, or kindness.
Ask your kids why they think the characters chose a certain action or what the characters could have done differently for a better outcome.
Challenge them to come up with an alternate ending.
- Give Quite Time
Yes, you read right again!
The holidays can often be a constant battle of finding new and interesting things to keep kids entertained.
But there’s a lot to be said for leaving them to their own devices, and letting them just be.
Children need time to themselves – to switch off from the bombardment of the outside world, to daydream, pursue their own thoughts and occupations, and discover personal interests and gifts’, explains
Children of the digital age are used to having constant entertainment and instant gratification.
So removing these distractions allows some much-needed time for quiet reflection, a wandering mind, and developing creative strategies to keep them entertained.
The best type of boredom can be found in the great outdoors, where they can investigate the natural environment.
It also encouraged imaginative play, which helps kids to express their creativity.
Encourage your older kids and teenagers to go for walks, sit in the park, and experience the world through their own eyes — even for a few minutes a day — instead of through their phone screen.
- Play Chess
Don’t know how? Learn together!
A simple Google search will turn up some great starting points. Once your kids master the basics, sign them up for a chess club. “Chess trains your brain to think critically—to discover like a scientist, create like a technician, innovate like an engineer, and problem solve like a mathematician,” explains Wendi Fischer, the Scholastic Director of America’s Foundation for Chess, a nonprofit organization that brings chess into schools. “In fact, a third-grade student once told me, ‘I like chess because it’s sneaky learning.'”
- Watch Television Together
If TV’s so bad for you, why is there one in every hospital room? Keep your kids’ minds engaged by watching a documentary, or keep them up to speed on pop culture trivia. They’ll thank you later when they keep beating you at Trivial Pursuit.
- Complete Projects Or Homework
There’s a good chance your child has some homework to do over the holiday break. Make yourself available to help with projects and homework, and teach your kids the value of teamwork!
- Create Board Games
Let them choose something they love (i.e. dogs, cooking, Disney, soccer, etc.), and challenge them to design a board game around their passion. From creating the game board and researching their topic to figuring out the rules and writing simple directions for others to follow, this hands-on activity truly puts.
- Gardening With Children
Gardening with children is not just fun, but can be extremely useful educationally.
Gardening helps children to understand about life cycles, seasons, and the importance of nature. Growing your own vegetables is a very good way to help children understand where food comes from.
But what can you do in the garden with children, and how involved can they be? This page describes some activities that will be useful with children aged anything from about two to ten, and perhaps beyond.
Whatever age your children, gardening should result in dirty, mud-stained clothes. It is important that they can get really involved, with dirty hands and clothes, without having to worry about the dirt.
If you (and they) are going to spend any time gardening, it may therefore be worth investing in some gardening clothes and tools. You can, of course, reserve a particular pair of old jeans and a fleece, but ‘work’ trousers or dungarees will be more hard-wearing, especially at the knee.
You may even be able to hand them down to another child later.
- Plan a Treat
For example, you can plan to cook something special with your kids. Get them baking cookies, prepare turmeric rice or something that they have wanted to eat for a while.
Whiles doing this, double the recipe to help brush up on math skills. Invite them to read through your cookbook, find a dinner recipe, and write a grocery list of ingredients.
As they shop with you, help them compare prices, look at price-per-unit, and calculate coupon savings.
At home, prepare the meal together as they read, measure and follow directions.
This has two main purposes:
First, it acts as a milestone that the holidays are over and that everyone will be going back to school or work.
Secondly, it acts as a reward for good behaviour during the holidays (or a gentle threat in the event of poor behaviour).
Furthermore, it gives everyone, including you, something to look forward to, especially if you have any period of time without much planned.
Want to help kids stay sharp over the holiday break? By engaging your kids with these holiday activities, parents can ensure that their kids are learning even while away from school!
So let your kids enjoy the holidays — but show them that learning can be one of the most fun holiday activities, even from home.
- Share while you decorate the house.Teach kids about family traditions and holiday customs as you decorate for the holidays.
- Make and give gifts. Nothing spreads holiday cheer more than a thoughtful gift for someone else—and nothing teaches kids more about sharing than giving.
- Try an indoor sport. Even though the weather outside is frightful, there are dozens of delightful activities to do inside. Teach kids how to roller-skate or how to keep score of a bowling game.
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